Alessandro Bezzi, Luca Bezzi, Denis Francisci, Rupert Gietl

(Arc-Team, Trentino-Südtirol / Italien)

Open Source is a trend in the IT-sector which has become stronger and stronger during the last years, and which is now spreading out also to the Archaeology. More and more software packages with free accessible source code and published under the GPL (General Public License) are available and many of them are very needfully for archaeological aims. Open Source software offers several advantages, it can e.g. be downloaded from the Internet and users with programming abilities can modify and adapt it to their individual archaeological needs. There are existing applications for the whole archaeological research-process, for GIS, image manipulation, CAD, reconstruction, animation, database, statistics, presentation,… Open Source software doesn’t require the payment of license fees and for that reason it can be used by every archaeologist, independent form his research or excavation budget, in addition it is usually available for Unix and for Windows too. Since 2003 the members of the Arc-Team are working exclusively with Open Source software and they gained valuable practical experience, which can be for the benefit of all colleagues. After a short introduction we will present concrete examples from different projects, compare advantages and disadvantages of the single applications and speak about future developments. All that will happen compared with close source software products which are normally used in Archaeology. We’ve divided a typical archaeological research-process in the fallowing 4 categories:

Data acquisition

  • Geophysical prospection
  • Surveying
  • Archaeological excavation

Data processing

  • Image processing with GIMP
  • Image rectification and georeferencing with Grass-GIS
  • Vectorizing raster data with QCAD & Grass-GIS, Jump
  • Working with digital terrain data in Grass-GIS
  • Orientation of Laserscans with Scanalyze
  • Statistical analysis with R
  • Photogrammetrical reconstraction with Stereo
  • 3D Reconstruction with Blender

Data management

  • Databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, ODBC, Base 2.0, Rekall…)
  • GIS Grass

Presentation & (Web-)Publishing

  • WebGIS (MapServer, MapLab)

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